Pacific Grove, CA : IHSS Caregiver Program For Seniors And Disabled Dodges A Bullet Once Again.by Richard Kuehn on 01/21/12
A Federal Judge on Thursday once again thwarted Governor Jerry Brown, blocking him from reducing in-home care for low-income disabled and elderly residents, a program referred to as In-Home Supportive Services or IHSS. If U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilkin hadn't converted her temporary order issued in December of last year into a preliminary injunction, seniors and disabled persons in California would have lost a full 20% of hours of care they previously received. IHSS allows the recipient of care to choose their own caregiver, even allowing relatives or close friends to be paid by the government for providing in-home care. More than 400K seniors and disabled persons receive IHSS help at a cost of $1.5 billion to the state of California. Many of them would have to be institutionalized at a higher cost of care if their IHSS services were slashed. When Wilkin issued her temporary order last month, she said the cut raised serious questions regarding whether the state had violated several federal laws, including those protecting Americans with disabilities. Governor Brown has vowed to move forward with the litigation, which now heads to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. State of California Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer told the Sacramento Bee that since last summer, court decisions and federal administrative delays have cost the state nearly $2 billion in savings, contributing to the state's $9.2 billion deficit. That's why we have a balance of power in this nation. The courts must step in and block social services cuts. Seniors have suffered enough with the cuts already implemented, and both the State and Federal government are trying to implement more rules, regulations and legislation which are going to hurt senior citizens, particularly the poor and those requiring 24-hour care. I have been to Sacramento many times over the past year to fight against cuts to senior services and I will continue to do so this year. Please, get out to vote this year, it's an important election cycle. If you can't get out to vote, sign up for an absentee ballot so your voice is heard.